The management of the Weston Aquatic Center was already going to be different this summer before the community was forced to deal with the public health crisis of coronavirus. As a collaborative plan between the Woodson YMCA and Village of Weston was taking shape, new safeguards for keeping pool patrons safe became the critical focus for opening.

The Village of Weston voted to open the Weston Aquatic Center, 5815 Alta Verde Street in Weston, on June 29 with an entirely new entry system. Only patrons who registered in advance will be permitted in order to have reduced capacities and a way to track who visits the pool. Patrons enter through two different gates at set open swim times each day.

“It was really just constant discussion,” said Shawn Osterbrink, Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry at the Village of Weston. “A safe facility is really the goal.” 

YMCA pool staff is now tasked with ensuring everyone who enters has a reservation, cleaning of handrails and other surfaces after every open swim session and social distance monitoring unlike anything that had happened in the past summers.

Swimmers appreciate the health precautions in place that have still allowed them to enjoy the pool this summer.

“We’ve heard a lot of thanks from patrons,” said Woodson YMCA Association Director of Aquatics Abby Tesch. 

To offer an environment which can provide safe social distancing, Osterbrink said it was necessary to pause pool rentals, swim lessons and season passes. He said play structures in the surrounding green space are still not in use but the pool slides were newly opened to the public, to positive feedback.

Tesch said the lifeguards working near the slides are wearing face masks and making sure patrons are safely distanced. The open swim sessions will continue to run, weather permitting, if at least 20 patrons sign up.

The Weston Aquatic Center will operate daily, by reservation online, through August 23rd. Updates on weather closures are posted on the Weston WI Aquatic Center Facebook page. Reservations are made at www.westonwi.gov.